Brook Trout Conservation

trout unlimitedBrook Trout Facts

Brook trout are colorful, fresh water fish located from Tennessee and North Carolina up to Maine. They survive in very cold, clean water. The population of the brook trout has decreased significantly over the decades due to a growing human population, road projects, construction and greater water needs. Increased sedimentation is also a factor affecting the survival rate of brook trout. Studies show the higher the number of trout in an area the better the chances of having a healthy ecosystem. In some areas, the trout have completely disappeared due to modern progress.

Developments in Brook Trout Conservation

In 2005, a group of private conservationists formed the group Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture in an effort to conserve the fish. They worked on ways to stop the decline in brook trout population and increase the number of existing fish in the waterways. The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture joined forces with other agencies and organizations to build private and public habitats for brook trout. Their goals are to educate the public on brook trout conservation, provide better habitats and determine the best use for federal, state and local funding. Seventeen states in the Eastern United States have enacted new policies concerning trout conservation.

Brook Trout Conservation Goals 

The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture set several goals for the organization to reach by the year 2012. Some of the goals include maintaining healthy watersheds, to establish 44 new watersheds, to change 45 poorly maintained watersheds to a healthy status and maintain 70 percent of existing watersheds in a healthy condition. The group along with its partner agencies worked tirelessly to make the goals a reality.

Conservation Progress

Over the past few years, congress has passed legislation to preserve natural habitats of brook trout. They have left much of the already protected land untouchable to industry and construction. Many northeastern states are aggressively searching for brook trout habitats throughout their waters. They are recording the number of new brook trout located and searching for new habitats to add brook trout. According to recent data, there is a positive change in the number of brook trout in the majority of researched areas.

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Why do Trout get Hooked Jaws?

hook jawTrout have one main purpose in life, and that purpose is to spawn so other little trout can enter the world. Spawning in its simplest definition, is to lay eggs.

When do Trout spawn?

Not all species of trout spawn at the same time of year. Rainbow trout, for example, spawn late spring into early summer. Lake trout spawn in the fall months at night.

Physical changes preparing for spawn.

As an adult trout nears maturity it goes through physical changes to prepare for spawning. Trout are generally silver in color, but as the time for spawning approaches, they turn red, pink, and green in places. Females become stouter in preparation for carrying eggs. Males develop something called a kype, or as more popularly known, a hooked jaw. In comparison, the females mouth area becomes shorter and more rounded.

How does the spawn work?

When a female trout is ready to lay her eggs, she will look for a place in clear water that is near or in the shade. The looser the silt or gravel on the bottom the better. She will take her fin and dig a shallow depression. The male will swim along beside her and drop his milt onto the eggs to fertilize them. The female then covers the eggs and moves on to the next prime laying spot and fertile male. Don’t think the male has it that easy! Before he can fertilize the eggs, he must entice the female with an impressive mating dance, while fending off other males.

So why does the male trout need a hooked jaw?

The hooked jaw is in the lower jaw and where there are strong teeth. The male uses the hooked jaw to bite other males that are trying to fertilize eggs. It really is as simple as that. Some trout seem to have longer hooked jaws than others. That is from the hooked jaws not entirely disappearing from the fish after the spawning season. The surviving fish will grow the hooked jaw again, thus just adding to the length of what didn’t entirely disappear to begin with.

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Newfoundland Salmon Fishing

landlocked salmonSalmon are not only one of the most commonly purchased fish on the northern coasts of North America, but they are also one of the most popularly fished species in these areas. This is mainly due to their delicious taste, and the ease with which they can be caught when they are in season. One of the best places in the world to fish for salmon is in the province of Newfoundland on the eastern seaboard of Canada. Newfoundland has become a tourist destination for salmon fishing enthusiasts around the world and it is easy to see why.

Diverse Fishing Areas
Newfoundland has a wide variety of areas in which you can fish for salmon. Whether you are a novice to the sport of salmon fishing or an expert fisherman, there will be a pristine stretch of water available for you to fish in. There are also so many great salmon fishing areas in Newfoundland that you will likely be completely alone wherever you choose to fish, this provides a level of peace and tranquility to fisherman that is unrivaled almost everywhere else in the world.

Salmon Fishing Vacation Packages

Another great thing about salmon fishing in Newfoundland is the many great options that fisherman have for planning their fishing trip. The advanced fisherman will likely plan his/her own trip and will want to fish alone. However, if you are new to salmon fishing and/or want to plan a fishing trip with your friends and family, there are many great options available for salmon fishing trips in Newfoundland. These trips range from single day introductory salmon fishing lessons to multi-day camping trips for advanced fisherman. No matter what kind of trip you are looking for, there is a vacation fishing company that can provide you with your dream trip.

Size and Variety of Salmon in Newfoundland

Possibly the best reason to fish for salmon in Newfoundland is the diversity in size and variety of the salmon that are found in the waterways there; this variety of salmon includes moderately sized river salmon and large inland lake salmon. No matter what kind of salmon you are looking to catch, there is salmon that will match your desire in Newfoundland.

Newfoundland is possibly the best place in the world in which to fish for salmon. Newfoundland Canada has some of the most diverse places in which to fish for salmon, and Newfoundland also has a variety of salmon that is almost unrivaled anywhere else that salmon is found. Next time you are looking to plan a salmon fishing trip, choose to fish for salmon in Newfoundland.

Seafaring Brook Trout

saltiesSeafaring Brook Trout are Lake and Stream Brook Trout

Brook trout that are found in sea water are called “salters”, but are essentially the same brook trout in the New England and Michigan streams. Work was done to establish this when it was believed that all brook trout in Massachusetts streams were now extinct. That error was clarified with scientific study. Scientists found no brook trout in Child’s River although its waters were perfect for brook trout. Brook trout from other streams were tagged and moved to Childs River, flourished and spawned. One trout has been recorded leaving the Childs River, swimming into the Quashnet, a feat which required it to cross Waquoit Bay, and then turn around to return to the Childs River. This was exciting news for all scientists in the study of our marine ecosystem.

Night Travelers
The tagging taught scientists much more. Brook trout move after dark. Dawn and dusk are periods of peak movement, but nighttime appears best. Movement peaks in spring, slows for summer and explodes in the fall before spawning months of October and November. After spawning, movement ceases.

Amazing Temporary Color Morphing
When the brook trout reach salt water, their coloring fades to an even shaded silvery color and they maintain that until they are in fresh water again, where they morph into their colorful state. When they return to salt water, the color again turns silver. Meanwhile, a connection between freshwater streams and salt water marine environment has become indisputable. The very exciting knowledge about the interchange of energy between river and ocean, from a brook trout perspective, especially, forces us to realize and understand for the first time the interplay of streams, estuaries and bays as being all moving parts of our earth’s broad interdependent ecosystem. This study illuminated in particular our American interdependent ecosystem.

What was thought to be an independent form of salt water trout is now understood to be the same one that spawns in our New England fresh water lakes and streams. Tests of DNA in addition to tagging and tracking have educated scientists to what has been transpiring in our American marine life. The prized “brookies” of our streams and rivers and the “salters” of salt water estuaries are the same.

When Do Brook Trout Spawn?

spawning brook troutBrook trout, the state fish of Michigan, breed in the fall and spawn in October and November. The female brook trout find riffle areas that have gravel bottoms in spring fed streams. Brook trout also look for spring seepage pond areas and lake shores with fast currents. They can readily be found spawning in lake bottoms where the groundwater seepage favors spawning.

The female uses her tail to make a spawning bed, called a redd, in the gravelly areas. The spawning bed may measure up to 2 feet and between 100 to 400 eggs are deposited. The number of eggs is dependent upon size and age of the female brook trout. After she has spawned, the female brook trout covers her eggs with more gravel. The eggs have to have continuous amounts of oxygen or the eggs cannot survive.
The eggs will incubate two or three months before they hatch into what is called sac fry. Brook trout’s ideal water temperature for fry or mature adults is between 57 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sac fry stay in the redd spawning bed until the yolk sac of each is absorbed, and then, at about 1 1/2 inches, they swim away to feed. They need 2 to 3 years to mature and normally do not live longer than 6 years. The brook trout that lives in streams can easily reach between 7 9 inches, while Great Lake brook trout, called coasters, can get up to 25 inches long and weigh 10 pounds.

The fish are known as nonstop feeders and cvan eat large numbers of plankton, crustacians, worms, other fish, ground and aquatic insect life. Although they favor ephemeroptera, trichoptera and diptera to make up most of their diet, brook trout will eat whatever is readily available.
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Before the brook trout mates in the fall, the male becomes even more colorful than normal, turning into a bright orange and red color especially along their sides. Otherwise the brook trout is a long fish with large mouth extending past its eye and variations in color along the body. They can be olive, blue, gray or black with silver belly and squiggly markings along the back. The tail is square and very rarely can be forked. Brook trout usually have red spots inside blue halo markings.

It is highly prized as a sport fish and also for eating. Many baits lure brook trout.

Are Brook Trout Actually Trout?

trout or salmonBrook Trout’s Evolution Through the Years

Brook trout are actually a species within the salmon family, not the trout. They bear the species namesalvolenius fortinalis , which the first word designates the salmon family and the second word, once a Latin expletive which has lost its clout today,”that which springs up from the fountains”. The Salmonid family of brook trout includes salmon, trout, chars, whitefish and graylings. Although the salmon has different appearance than the brook trout with different fin structure, many of the native traits are similar within the different species of the salmon family.
Brook Trout Depleted by Mine Run Off
The brook trout species flourishes in some areas but is endangered and diminishing in extremes in other waters due to acid running off into their habitat from mining. They need narrow ph balance and fare best in the cooler waters of springs, streams and higher elevations of Appalachia East and South to Georgia, and Great Lake region of Michigan East to New York, although the brook trout is no longer found in New York state. Pennsylvania, while one of the chief mining states which has acid run off depleting populatons of brook trout, still has a significant number of the fish localized in certain waters, while diminished in others. Brook trout is the state fish of 7 states.Salmon and Brook Trout Share Habits and Waters
Brook trout of the New England waters sometimes swim to the salt water estuaries and oceans, returning to their waters of origin inland in streams, springs and lakes for spawning, like others in the salmon family. The fish are prized by fly fishermen and anglers, and can be caught by insects including grasshopopers, flies, and worms, and artificial lures of spinners and spoons. Many fishermen today catch and release the brook trout in conservation efforts.

Hybridization to Replenish Fish Waters
Other species such as brown trout have been released into the brook trout waters to hybridize species and this has been successful with the tiger trout, which, however, does not reproduce. The markings are different, with more spots on the tiger and not as much color on the body. Efforts are being undertaken through many fish and wildlife enterprises to study the depletion of the native brook trout of the United States, and initiate positive replenishing and protection actions.

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The Best Time Of Day To Catch Fish

morning fishingAs a fisherman, have you ever found yourself wondering when the best time to catch fish is? Or is there even one time of day that’s better than another to catch fish? Some people may be surprised to find that there really is a better time to go fishing.

While there’s a time in the day that’s best to catch fish, it’s important to understand that this isn’t something that you can judge by a clock. It’s simply not that scientific. However, it’s not that complex either.For freshwater fishermen there are two main factors that must be taken into consideration in order to determine the time. They are the weather and the moon. These two forces of Mother Nature will typically play a bigger role in catching fish than the type of bait you choose to use. This is because Mother Nature determines when fish are going to be the most active, which is when they’ll feed more, thus giving you more bites.Now how do you determine whether the forces of Mother Nature are working to your advantage? This will require a little studying, however the main things that you should be on the lookout for include:

1. A passing warm front will make fish more active.
2. Cloudy days bring fish to the top whereas bright, sunny days drive them deeper down into the water, making them harder to catch.
3. Morning sun, as well as other times that have cool temperatures with lower light levels is great because fish enjoy feeding at these times.
4. Consider fishing during a light rain when fish find it more difficult to see the surface. At this time bait is oftentimes washed onto the surface of the water causing a feeding frenzy. You can take advantage of this as long as there’s no lightening.
5. Rising and falling tide levels will work in favor of saltwater fishing.By using this information to your advantage you’ll be able to get more fish. This is something that any experienced angler is able to discern for themselves. So, why shouldn’t you be using it to your advantage too?
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Average Size of Labrador Brook Trout

labrador brook troutLabrador brook trout are popular with fly fishers and game fishermen (and women) of all kinds. Swimming the cool, fresh waters of Labrador, Canada, they are plentiful, healthy, easy to catch with a wide variety of lures, and they are large. Labrador brook trout are among the largest brook trout in the world. This makes them especially appealing, as what fisherman doesn’t love to show off a nice, large fish?

Brook trout in general can be found almost anywhere in fresh waters along the eastern side of North America, ranging from Georgia up into Canada. The farther north you go, the larger the brook trout seem to become. This could be because the water up north gets cleaner as the fishing spots become more remote. Northern fishing areas are quite remote, with many of the best spots only being accessible by going through miles of undeveloped woods and then far out into the water by boat. There isn’t much development up there, so there is no pollution. The cleaner the water, the healthier and bigger the fish.

Most common brook trout get up to around 10 to 26 inches in length in general, and can weigh anywhere from 0.7 to seven pounds. The largest brook trout ever caught on record was 33 inches long and 14.5 pounds, but that is a real exception to the rule. Labrador brook trout are a little bit bigger than the brook trout throughout the rest of North America, and this makes them a nice prize for pleasure fishers, some of whom travel large distances on annual fishing trips to Labrador just to catch a bounty of these green and brown marbled beauties.

The average size of the Labrador brook trout is over 10 pounds, putting it a good three pounds heavier than the largest average size for brook trout located elsewhere in North America. They can get as long as 29 to 25 inches or more. This is much bigger than brook trout that are found anywhere else. The size and quality of these trout are why Labrador is the home of so many professional fishing tour companies. These companies will fly customers in to the most remote, fertile fishing grounds in Labrador and guide them through the water, instruct them on how to catch the biggest, best fish, and even provide cabins to stay in so guests can spend their entire vacation happily fishing for the prized, and exceptionally large, Labrador brook trout.

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How to Clean Trout and Salmon

how to clean salmonFor those who are unfamiliar with cleaning trout and salmon it actually is not very difficult. Cleaning these types of fish, although messy, is very straightforward. Although it takes some time to get used to, learning to clean your own fish is a useful skill, especially for those who regularly fish and bring home their catch to create a delicious meal.

Trout can be cleaned in ten easy steps. All you need is a cutting board, scaling knife, fish knife and of course trout. Here is how to clean trout.1. Select a fish.

2. Firmly hold the trout and scrape all of the scales off. This should be done on both sides be sure to rinse the scales off to reveal the ones you have missed.

3. Rinse and ensure that all scales have been removed.

4. Firmly hold the fish in the palm of your hand belly side up and the head facing away from you. Place your fish knife in the vent hole and cut towards the head. Stop when you reach the jaws of the trout.

5. Place trout on cutting board and completely remove the head. Dispose of the fish head.

6. Remove all guts from the fish by hand. For those that are more difficult to remove scrape them out with a spoon and dispose.

7. Locate the tissues that appear to be filed with blood that are located along the spine.

8. Scrape these tissues out for removal.

9. Rinse fish again to remove any excess mess.

10. Place in storage bag. Trout can be refrigerated or frozen.

Salmon is also an easy fish to clean. Continue on to learn how.

1. Hold salmon in one hand and slice the cartilage from the chin to the collar.

2. Grab hold of gills and slice the edge of the gills with your knife.

3. Pull on the gills to remove.

4. Make a small incision at the urethra and slice fish to about an inch and a half from the collar. (urethra is located near the tail of the fish)

5. Grab the guts and slice two semi circles to the left and right of them.

6. Remove the guts.

7. Slice kidney line and scrape to remove.

8. Thoroughly wash the salmon.

Overall cleaning trout and salmon is easy. With the right instruction, a workstation and a sharp knife you can clean your own fish and enjoy your catch of the day.

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Recipes for Fresh Brook Trout

cooking brook troutFresh brook trout is a freshwater fish found in ponds and streams. There are several delicious ways to cook this versatile, mild flavored fish. Start each recipe by rinsing the fish and blotting dry with a paper towel.

Fried Whole Fresh Brook Trout

To pan fry a whole fish, start with a simple flour mixture to use as a coating. Mix 1/2 C flour with 1/2 C cornmeal and teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Coat the fish in the flour mixture, and heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Fry the fish for about 5 minutes on each side and dry on paper towels.
Foil Covered Grilled Fresh Brook Trout
Place whole fish or fish filet in aluminum foil. Cover with butter, dill, onion, salt and pepper. Grill for 10 minutes on each side. This recipe could be prepared on a home grill or even over a campfire.
Asian Style Fresh Brook Trout
Clean and filet the trout. Rub fish with a tablespoon of soy sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat one teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet and sauté one teaspoon of garlic, one teaspoon of ginger and one tablespoon of chopped green onions. Place the trout in the skillet and cook about 3 minutes on each side until the fish flakes with a fork.
Fresh Brook Trout in Almond Butter Sauce
Sprinkle salt and pepper onto the cleaned trout. Roll the trout in 1/2 C of flour. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a skillet, and add the fish. Cook for about five minutes on each side. In the meantime, melt four tablespoons of butter in a pan. Add 1/2 C of almond slivers and cook until browned. Pour this mixture over the trout. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top of the fish.
Fresh brook trout can be prepared hundreds of ways with a variety of different ingredients. Cook trout inside on the stove, outside on the grill or even at a campfire. Fresh brook trout has a wonderful flavor that lends itself to many kinds of preparation and recipes.
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